Saturday, September 02, 2006

Ozzie & Billick Waiting to Exhale?

You said it, I said it, anyone even remotely tied to the Ravens said it – to win in 2006 the Ravens must have better play from their offensive line.

It’s a tired subject really but equally tiring is the fact that the Ravens have done very little about it. The Ravens front office is banking on improved conditioning, continuity, maturity and another year under Chris Foerster to result in greater line productivity.

That is a big roll of the dice and undoubtedly, Ozzie and Brian are holding their breath particularly after the unit’s shoddy performance in Minnesota on August 25.

This unit has to take control in the tropical conditions of Raymond James Stadium. They have to develop a rhythm immediately and run the football effectively. That will take out the crowd and that will take away the Bucs intensity, it will keep the Ravens defense off the sweltering field and it will open things up for McNair downfield. It will also keep the Ravens out of second and third and long situations, something that the Ravens offensive line consistently fails to respond to.

It’s all about rhythm, tempo, in and out of the huddle and running the football. If the Ravens can do that, they have a shot on opening day and Ozzie and Brian can then stop waiting to exhale.

If not, they will soon be blue in the face.